A PCR assay for the diagnosis of respiratory disease induced by equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) was performed at the clinical laboratory in the Racehorse Clinic of the Ritto Training Center of the Japan Racing Association from December 2007 to March 2008. The assay was performed without the trouble of contamination throughout the study and its turnaround time was approximately 6 hr. The PCR detection rates of EHV-1 among seroconverted horses were 22.2% for nasal swabs and 33.3% for blood samples. However, EHV-1 DNA was also detected in horses without seroconversion at a low rate. These results indicated that the PCR assay should be used as an adjunct method, but would help to make an early diagnosis of EHV-1 infection.
2011 by the Japanese Society of Equine Science